'Truly lovely' nine-year-old girl died after being kicked by horse during hunt


A nine-year-old girl who died after being kicked by a horse while riding her pony has been named.

Paramedics were called to a farm in Miserden, near Stroud, Gloucestershire, at about 11.25am on Saturday.

Bonnie Armitage was riding with the Cotswold Hunt for their final meet of the season when the incident occurred.

She was airlifted to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital in Gloucester where she later died.

Andrew Nott, headmaster of Bonnie's school St Hugh's in Oxfordshire, paid tribute to a "truly lovely, talented girl".

"The entire school community was devastated to learn of the tragic death of one of our pupils, Bonnie Armitage, following a riding accident on Saturday," he said.

"Bonnie, the daughter of a member of our staff, was a truly lovely, talented girl who was bright, kind, compassionate, gentle and full of joy.

"Our love, thoughts and prayers are with her parents, Nick and Polly, and siblings, Zach and Mamie, at this profoundly difficult time."

Sources told the Press Association how Bonnie had been kicked while riding during the hunt.

"My understanding is that she was riding slightly behind a bigger horse that kicked out at her pony," a source said.

"The kick caught her. It was a tragic accident."

Another source said: "She is believed to have been kicked off her horse by another horse. It is an extremely sad incident."

It is unclear whether Bonnie suffered chest or head injuries in the incident.

A spokesman for Gloucestershire Police confirmed that the incident was not being treated as suspicious.

"Officers were called to a farm at Miserden at around 1pm on Saturday April 2," the force spokesman said.

"A nine-year-old girl was taking part in an organised event when she was involved in an incident involving a horse.

"The girl suffered serious injuries and was taken to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital by air ambulance where she sadly died.

"The coroner and the child's family have been informed. Police are not treating the death as suspicious."

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust attended the scene with Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

"At 11.25am on Saturday we received a report that a female child had been involved in an incident with a horse," a spokeswoman said.

"We attended with a rapid-response vehicle, an ambulance crew, a doctor and an officer, and the air ambulance.

"She was flown in a life-threatening condition to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital."

In a statement, the joint masters of the Cotswold Hunt said: "Last Saturday's Meet of the Cotswold Hounds was overshadowed by the tragic death of a nine year old child who sustained what proved to be fatal injuries in an accident in the hunting field and slipped away after strenuous efforts by the Air Ambulance Team and Paramedics.

"A sense of overwhelming shock and sadness is with us all as we try to come to terms with her family's overwhelming loss and grief, and I hope that the strength of our community together with the power of our prayers and the sincerity of our condolences will be of some comfort to the family.

"In truth we find it hard to write this, as a young life lost is very, very hard to bear.

"We would also like to thank the emergency services who did their very best."